Etowah paddle to introduce canoe, kayak trail project

Published in Cherokee News Tribune July 2010

Etowah paddle to introduce canoe, kayak trail project

by the Cherokee Tribune staff

July 29, 2010 12:00 AM | 1292 views | 0  | 14  |  | 

A paddle down the Etowah River through Cherokee County this weekend will promote plans to build a 160-mile regional canoe and kayak trail.

The Coosa River Basin Initiative and Upper Etowah River Alliance will present the canoe/kayak paddle on Saturday along the Etowah from East Cherokee Drive to Boling Park in Canton.

The 15-mile stretch includes several Native American fish weirs and other historic sites.

The trip is free to members of either organization, and a joint annual membership is $35. Pre-registration is required, and shuttles will be provided for a small fee. Boat rentals are also available.

The organizations are working with stakeholders, including the city of Canton, to create a 160-mile Etowah River canoe and kayak trail from Dawson County to Floyd County. The trail would include numerous public boat launches and parking areas as well as informational kiosks at key river access points.

The Canton government is installing a new canoe/kayak launch on the Etowah at Boling Park with funds CRBI secured through a legal settlement with the developers of the Canton Marketplace shopping center. Construction should begin by the end of the year, said Joe Cook, CRBI executive director and riverkeeper.

"In the Etowah River, Cherokee County has a real recreational gem," Cook said. "Unfortunately, with the exception of Lake Allatoona, there is not a single public boat launch on the Etowah in the county. As the area continues to grow, the importance of outdoor recreational amenities will also grow. We need to take advantage of the beautiful resource that we have in the Etowah."

The Etowah is considered one of the country's most biologically diverse river systems with 76 native fish species. It is home to 10 imperiled aquatic species, including the federally protected Cherokee, Etowah and Amber darters.

For information, call CRBI Volunteer Adventure Trip Coordinator Alan Crawford at (706) 291-7449 or e-mail

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